It's refreshing to arrive in a foreign country these days and find that their towns, shops, food and customs are, well, 'foreign'. It's depressing to fly hours on a plane to arrive in a faraway land only to be greeted with McDonalds, Starbucks and Westfield shopping malls. For this reason, Reykjavik, and Iceland as a whole, gets a gold star for the foreign experience. They have food, drink and shops all offering new experiences, and the locals understand the English language very well so it's all very accessible. Perfect!
We visited in November, so it'll be no surprise to hear that there was a 'nip in the air'. You'd expect nothing less from a country that has the word 'ice' in its title. We came prepared with many layers, but inevitably we were drawn into the many bars to warm up. In winter, Iceland has a range of Jola (Christmas) beers on offer. Awesome concept. Lagers have a dark, fruity note to them. I guess we have the same in the UK with festive ales, but the selection is not as wide.
Iceland has a reputation for being expensive. It is on the pricy side, but nothing outrageous compared to London prices. A nice main meal in a restaurant costs about 15 UK pounds and a haf litre of beer 4.50. The takeaway food is cheap with a hot dog at 1.50 and a foot long sub and drink at 6 pounds. So about the same as the UK. The slight shock was paying the same prices out in the remote Icelandic towns - lower quality, same price. This mounted up during the two week holiday. Take a credit card!
Reykjavik is a good base for adventure trips around the area, or a long weekend city break (EasyJet flight from Luton = 120 GBP return pp). Thumbs up!
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